Astonishing photographs published in Pakistani papers showed the hunter smiling behind the carcass of the beautiful animal placed on a rock. Markhor is native to the Himalayan ranges of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
The American was on a hunting excursion to Pakistan’s northern Himalayan region of Gilgit-Baltistan. It also mentioned the fact that he had paid a record sum of $110,000 to shoot the unfortunate mammal.
“It was an easy and close shot. I am pleased to take this trophy,” said the Texan man, identified as Bryan Kinsel Harlan, Presstv reported.
The story soon drew backlash from social media users. Several Pakistani users asked why there was no legal ban on hunting the wild goat. Others suggested tourists to be taken to visit the markhor and have their photographs taken instead of poaching the animal.
Some Pakistani officials and animal conservationist, on the other hand, maintained that the limited hunting practice has actually helped save the rare species from extinction.
The population of the mammal drastically plunged over the decades because of deforestation and logging, military exercises and local hunting for meat.
Pakistan, therefore, barred all local hunting and licensed foreign poachers to hunt only 12 male goats each season in exchange for huge amounts of cash. Eighty percent of the money was to be distributed between impoverished local hunters to stop them from hunting the markhor.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service classified the animal as "threatened" rather than "endangered," so the trophy hunters could actually bring back home the animal’s horns as souvenirs, in an effort to encourage hunting the mammal.
The number of markhors in the wild increased consequently and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature upgraded the animal from "endangered" to "near-threatened."
Green Global Travel website described the revival of the markhor, “one of the world’s great but little known conservation success stories.”
Extreme hunting without regulation reportedly moved the Tasmanian tiger to extinction in its natural habitat of Australia.